July 18, 2018

Big Shift: Large Majority of Voters Now Crediting Trump, Not Obama, For Economic Gains.

An interesting polling result for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Q-polls have been pretty terrible for Republicans in the Trump era. First off, the trajectory here is good for Trump. Early on in 2017, Obama was winning the strong majority of credit for an improving US economy. By the fall of last year, a double-digit majority (50/37) of Americans credited Obama over Trump for the improving US economy. Toward the end of January, Gallup showed Trump getting close to pulling even with his predecessor. And now that spring has sprung? Trump has shot out into the lead, and it’s not close.  Look at the evolution in public sentiment over the last year:

And some of the internals that add up to produce that top line numbers are…borderline incredible:

Beyond that, women split (55/32) on the same question, with independents at (49/35).  The overall majority is correct, in my view; Obama inherited an economic meltdown (caused in significant measure by foolish big government experiments), and his inefficient or damaging major domestic policies inhibited what could have been a much more robust and speedy recovery.  Trump’s program of deregulation and tax reform have unquestionably improved the economic climate in America, both for consumers and businesses (last month’s fairly tepid jobs report notwithstanding).  So the great news for the White House is that Americans are attributing the economic situation to the president.  And they view the current economic situation positively, for both themselves and the country writ large: Sixty percent say the nation’s economy is in “excellent” or “good” shape.  Asked about their personal lives, 78 percent respond with “excellent” or “good.”  Those are really, really strong numbers.  The less great news for the White House is that in spite of these positive marks, a majority (41/52) still disapprove of Trump’s job performance.  Interestingly, that isn’t translating into a major deficit for the GOP on the generic ballot.  In fact, speaking of trajectories, here’s another one:

It’s Democrats 46, Republicans 43 in the latest iteration, with both parties deep underwater on favorability (Dems -20, GOP -26).  If the generic ballot is a dogfight, why are Republicans dropping like flies — perhaps with more to come?  Probably because polling has bounced around, where as electoral results have virtually all trended in one direction.  But since we’re already in the process of examining this survey, let’s review a few more of its findings:

(1) As Matt covered, most Americans believe that the president had an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, but a supermajority do not believe it’s an important story.  Remarkably, nearly 60 percent say Trump’s knowledge of the $130,000 payoff in alleged hush money is also unimportant.  Salaciousness may not be resonating in this case.

(2) By 20 points, voters think Special Counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a fair investigation “into any links or coordination between President Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.”  By a whopping margin (13/69), respondents say Trump should not fire Mueller, including a clear majority of Republicans.

(3) Support for the (vague) concept of stricter gun laws stands at 56/39 in favor, but roughly 80 percent oppose repealing the Second Amendment — including 95 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Independents.  One-third of Democrats (likely the hardcore base) say they are in favor, however.  Ask the question, media.  Voters split on whether the issue of gun violence makes them more likely to choose Democrats or Republicans, with a majority saying no difference.

(4) Most people are against building a border wall with Mexico, but a modest majority are in favor of Trump’s proposal to use the national guard to help guard the southern border.  And even though a lopsided number favor legal protections for so-called DREAMers, by nearly three-to-one, Americans say illegal immigration is an important problem.  On immigration, posturing and partisan sniping, I’ll leave you with this chestnut:

Source: Townhall

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